Mar 062013

Raymond Blanc is one of my favourite chefs to watch. I am dying to go to his restaurant in Le Manoir in  Oxfordshire.  I recently came across his tips to making cocktails on a recent trip on the Eurostar in Eurostar Magazine.

He spoke how the cocktail has  changed from 20 years with swizzle sticks and bright paper Umbrellas now the cocktail is having a revolution and I would say more of a bespoke experience.  Here are some of his tips for the next time you are making a cocktail.

- That just like great dishes that are based on contrast, created by a build up of flavours. The same applies to cocktails.

- Follow the 3 S rule for cocktails

1) Strength, or the alcohol base, you should never blend to spirits

2) Sour,usually a fruit or a fruit juice.  You should only stir a cocktail when it does not contain fruit juice, lemon juice is the exception

3) Sweet, which is liqueur or something sugary and fizzy.

He uses the classic gin and tonic as an example- the gin the strength, the tonic the sweet, and the the slice of lemon or lime the sour.

I hope this helps next time you are coming up with a cocktail concoction. I think it is important to sometimes go back to basic principals.



Nov 292012

For Thanksgiving I wanted to serve something special and fun to start the evening. When perusing Daniel Boulud Cocktail book, I came across this Pumpkin Smash. I thought it couldn’t have been more perfect. It does take some preparation but well worth it. (The Spicy Simple Syrup needs to steep overnight) Comments made about the cocktails “It tastes like pumpkin pie in a drink but better!”

Pumpkin Smash Ingredients

Pumpkin Smash Cocktail

1.5 oz Appleton Estate V/X Rum (  I used just a dark rum I had)

3/4 oz of spice syrup

1/2 oz of lemon juice

1/2 oz pumpkin puree

1 drop of The Biter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter bitter

1 Cinnamon Stick

3 Cloves

In Shaker, combine liquid ingredients with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with a 2″ square ice cube. (i just used regular ice) Garnish with cinnamon stick and cloves.


Bring to a boil 2 cups of water with 2 cups of white sugar, 8 cinnamon sticks, 8 cloves, and half a ground nutmeg. Let steep in the refrigerator for a day, then strain mixture into a clean, sealed container. Can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.